In 2004, Exit Studio led art workshops at the Prince William County Public Schools Multicultural Summer Institute in Woodbridge, VA. The four-day institute is designed to give teachers new experience in and information on incorporating multicultural themes into their curriculum. More than 100 teachers participated in Exit Studio’s four workshops on the Vejigante and the Taínos. Using hands-on art projects such as mask-making and pottery, Edwin Fontánez gave the teachers new insights into the culture and history of Puerto Rico. By playing the role of artisan, they were able to connect on a fundamental level with this folk character and ancient society from the island. These experiential tools for learning can be taken back to the classroom and used to enrich many subjects in the school curriculum, from social studies to language arts.
Attending events that connect directly with the public are an important element of Exit Studio’s mission. We delight in sharing our vision with audiences young and old alike at events such as the Multicultural Literary Expo hosted by Lessons from Abroad in Bowie, MD. The event featured storytellers reading in English, Spanish, French, Swahili, American Sign Language, and Japanese, as well as author readings, book signings, performances, a multicultural book fair, and more. Edwin Fontánez has conducted workshops and book signings around the country, including the Smithsonian Institution, the Capital Children’s Museum, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC; the Camden Children’s Garden in Camden, NJ; the Collingswood Book Festival in Collingswood, NJ; El Museo del Niño in San Juan, PR; and the Santa Fe Children’s Museum in Santa Fe, NM; among others.